Awards Circuit: Circuit Q&A, What Are Your Favorite Recent Netflix Releases?

This piece was originally published to Awards Circuit on May 8, 2019. 

**Circuit Q&A’s are our daily community question, posed to the readers of AwardsCircuit that cover various topics from film and television to general wonderings and for instances**

The cast of “Saturday Night Live” spoofed Netflix’s voracious appetite for content in a memorable skit last December. Cast member Beck Bennett narrates a sardonic ad: “Our goal is the endless scroll. By the time you’ve reached the bottom of our menu, there’s now shows at the top, thus the singularity will be achieved.” The sentiment can ring true. With innumerable daily releases, the streaming giant doles out an incessant amount of new TV to binge watch and films to sink one’s teeth into. We’ve listed a few particularly strong newcomers to the platform. Which freshman titles are your favorites?

TV

From the mind of Lisa Hanawalt, the series’ creator and a production designer on “BoJack Horseman,” comes a new Netflix animated show, “Tuca & Bertie.” It follows the eponymous characters, Tuca (Tiffany Haddish), an exuberant toucan, and Bertie (Ali Wong), an anxious songbird. They are two bird-women in their thirties who live in the same apartment building. With Hanawalt’s vision, the show expertly melds a sense of playfulness with the gravitas of being a young woman, coping with anxiety, and navigating romantic relationships. It debuted on May 3.

“Special” makes history. It is the first show to center on the life of a gay man with cerebral palsy. Created by Ryan O’Connell, who also stars as the titular Ryan Hayes, the series begins with Ryan getting hit by a car right before starting a new job. For the first time in his life he feels free from the judgement others have placed on him for being disabled. He sees the car accident as a chance to start over. “Special” is a smart and often very funny series about a man learning to rewrite his own narrative. Furthermore, the show is also loosely based off of O’Connell’s own experience as a gay, disabled man who suffered a car accident similar to his character’s. The series premiere was April 12.

With stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as leads, it’s hard to go wrong with “Dead to Me.” The dark comedy focuses on the burgeoning friendship between Jen Harding (Applegate) and Judy Hale (Cardellini), who meet at a grief-support group. Viewers learn quickly that one of them has a bizarre secret. Furthermore, the show is executive produced by Will FerrellJessica Elbaum, series creator Liz Feldman and Adam McKay“Dead to Me” premiered on May 3.

Film

“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” has received mixed reviews since premiering at Sundance, inciting praise from many and disdain from others. Although, Zac Efron’s gripping performance as the brutal serial killer Ted Bundy has largely been lauded. For some, the film is a must-see if only for the skill that Efron brings to the role. Directed by Joe Berlinger, the biographical thriller first appeared on Netflix on May 3.

“Knock Down the House” was also the talk of Park City. Premiering at Sundance, the documentary follows a then-unknown Alexandria Ocasio-CortezCori BushAmy Vilela, and Paula Jean Swearengin, all progressive Democrats, as they run for Congress during last year’s midterm elections. Directed by Rachel Lears, the documentary was releasedon May 1. The film has made an impact particularly for its insights to AOC before she became a nation-wide force.

“Someone Great” stars a trifecta of talented comediennes: Gina RodriguezBrittany Snow, and DeWanda Wise. They play three college friends in New York City who gather together for a wild night after Jenny (Rodriguez)’s partner of nine years (played by a charming Lakeith Stanfield) breaks up with her after she lands a dream job in San Francisco. Directed by Jennifer Robinson, “Someone Great” is an uplifting and endearing rom-com. The film was released on April 19.

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